School has started. I know this because of the champagne flowing and the endless smile on my wife’s face. The weather belies this fact but the return to the early morning schedule and the pleas for cash from the area codes associated with two certain California Universities do not. So, for those of you in a similar boat, welcome back. I hope you had a wonderful summer. It’s time to start cooking those family meals again.
My wife suggested that I do chili. I protested at first, “It’s too damn hot for chili.” But since we had the covers on last night and the sun is now merely warm, not scalding hot, I capitulated. Chili is one of those large family go to dishes that fits into the time schedules of families on the move, is affordable and can be stretched into lunches for dad, after school snacks and even a second meal without much complaint. At least at our house it never lasts long enough to hear the whine: “Not chili again!”
- 2 lbs Ground Turkey
- 1 lb Ground Sirloin
- 1 Large Can San Marzano Tomatoes, diced
- 2 Small Cans Tomato Sauce (preferably San Marzano)
- 1 Bag Dried Pinto Beans
- 6 Slices Bacon
- 2 Onions, diced
- 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 3 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
- 1 Teaspoon + 1 Teaspoon Chili Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Cumin
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
- 1/2 Teaspoon Allspice
- 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
- 1 Bay Leaf
- Salt and Pepper
- Chef’s Knife
- Large Pot
- Pan with Lid
- Soak the beans overnight.
- In a pan full of water, bring the beans to a boil, reduce heat slightly, cover and cook for 1 hour.
- In the bottom of a large pot, cook the bacon until crispy.
- Remove cooked bacon to paper towels.
- Sauté the onion and garlic in the bacon grease.
- Add the ground meat. Make sure you get really good, organic meat and have it ground. Do not buy anything in plastic wrap.
- Season the meat with 1 teaspoon of chili powder, half of the cayenne and salt and pepper.
- Brown the meat.
- Crumble the bacon into the mix.
- Add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a brief boil, turn to simmer, cover and cook for 45-1 hour.
- Taste after 10 or 15 minutes. Adjust seasonings. You may want a little more chili powder.
- Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, diced onion and any other topping that you like.